Gene Summary

Gene:KCNQ1OT1; KCNQ1 opposite strand/antisense transcript 1 (non-protein coding)
Aliases: LIT1, KvDMR1, KCNQ10T1, KCNQ1-AS2, KvLQT1-AS, NCRNA00012
Summary:Human chromosomal region 11p15.5 contains two clusters of epigenetically-regulated genes that are expressed from only one chromosome in a parent-of-origin manner. Each cluster, or imprinted domain, is regulated by a functionally independent imprinting control region (ICR). The human CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domain is regulated by an ICR located in an intron of KCNQ1, and contains at least eight genes that are expressed exclusively or preferentially from the maternally-inherited allele. The DNA of the ICR is specifically methylated on the maternally-inherited chromosome, and unmethylated on the paternally-inherited chromosome. The ICR contains the promoter of the KCNQ1OT1 gene that is exclusively expressed from the paternal allele. The KCNQ1OT1 transcript is the antisense to the KCNQ1 gene and is a unspliced long non-coding RNA. It interacts with chromatin and regulates transcription of multiple target genes through epigenetic modifications. The transcript is abnormally expressed from both chromosomes in most patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and the transcript also plays an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • Genotype
  • Vincristine
  • Hydatidiform Mole
  • Adrenocortical Cancer
  • Chromosome 11
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • IGF2
  • KCNQ Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels
  • Uniparental Disomy
  • KCNQ1 Potassium Channel
  • Epigenetics
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • Phenotype
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Folding
  • Risk Factors
  • DNA Methylation
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Base Sequence
  • Infant
  • Models, Genetic
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Alleles
  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57
  • Telomere
  • Mutation
  • Membrane Proteins
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: KCNQ1OT1 (cancer-related)

Ribarska T, Goering W, Droop J, et al.
Deregulation of an imprinted gene network in prostate cancer.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(5):704-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Multiple epigenetic alterations contribute to prostate cancer progression by deregulating gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms, especially differential DNA methylation at imprinting control regions (termed DMRs), normally ensure the exclusive expression of imprinted genes from one specific parental allele. We therefore wondered to which extent imprinted genes become deregulated in prostate cancer and, if so, whether deregulation is due to altered DNA methylation at DMRs. Therefore, we selected presumptive deregulated imprinted genes from a previously conducted in silico analysis and from the literature and analyzed their expression in prostate cancer tissues by qRT-PCR. We found significantly diminished expression of PLAGL1/ZAC1, MEG3, NDN, CDKN1C, IGF2, and H19, while LIT1 was significantly overexpressed. The PPP1R9A gene, which is imprinted in selected tissues only, was strongly overexpressed, but was expressed biallelically in benign and cancerous prostatic tissues. Expression of many of these genes was strongly correlated, suggesting co-regulation, as in an imprinted gene network (IGN) reported in mice. Deregulation of the network genes also correlated with EZH2 and HOXC6 overexpression. Pyrosequencing analysis of all relevant DMRs revealed generally stable DNA methylation between benign and cancerous prostatic tissues, but frequent hypo- and hyper-methylation was observed at the H19 DMR in both benign and cancerous tissues. Re-expression of the ZAC1 transcription factor induced H19, CDKN1C and IGF2, supporting its function as a nodal regulator of the IGN. Our results indicate that a group of imprinted genes are coordinately deregulated in prostate cancers, independently of DNA methylation changes.

Jiang YJ, Bikle DD
LncRNA profiling reveals new mechanism for VDR protection against skin cancer formation.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014; 144 Pt A:87-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence strongly suggests a protective role of vitamin D signaling against chemical and UVR-induced skin cancer formation. However, the mechanism remains largely unknown. Recently, the emerging role of long, non-coding RNA (lncRNA) as a hallmark of cancer has become better appreciated. LncRNAs are mRNA-like transcripts ranging in length from 200 bases to 100kb lacking significant open reading frames, which are involved in a broad spectrum of tumorigenic/metastatic processes. In this study we profiled 90 well-annotated mouse lncRNAs from cultured mouse keratinocytes after deleting the vitamin D receptor (VDR) (∼90%) vs. control cells using an lncRNA array analysis. We found that several well-known oncogenes, including H19, HOTTIP and Nespas, are significantly increased (6.3-1.8-fold), whereas tumor suppressors (Kcnq1ot1, lincRNA-p21) are decreased (up to 50-70%) in VDR deleted keratinocytes. A similar pattern of lncRNA profiling is observed in the epidermis of K14 driven, tamoxifen-regulated epidermal-specific VDR null vs. wild-type control mice. Additionally there is an increase in the expression levels of other oncogenes (mHOTAIR, Malat1 and SRA) and a decrease of other tumor suppressors (Foxn2-as, Gtl2-as, H19-as). The increased expression levels of HOTTIP and H19 were further confirmed by real-time PCR analysis with individually designed primer sets. The major finding of this study is a novel mechanism for protection by VDR against skin cancer formation by maintaining the balance of oncogenic to tumor suppressing lncRNAs. In keratinocytes lacking VDR this balance is disturbed with increased expression of oncogenes and decreased expression of tumor suppressors, a mechanism that predisposes the VDR deficient mice to skin cancer formation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Vitamin D Workshop".

Wan J, Huang M, Zhao H, et al.
A novel tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism within KCNQ1OT1 confers risk for hepatocellular carcinoma.
DNA Cell Biol. 2013; 32(11):628-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
KCNQ1 overlapping transcript 1 (KCNQ1OT1), a long noncoding RNA responsible for silencing a cluster of genes in cis, has been shown to be involved in multiple cancers. However, much remains unclear of how KCNQ1OT1 contributes to carcinogenesis. By thoroughly analyzing 510 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases and 1014 healthy controls in a Chinese population, we identified a novel short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism (rs35622507) within the KCNQ1OT1 coding region and evaluated its association with HCC susceptibility. Logistic regression analysis showed that compared with individuals carrying the homozygote 10-10 genotype, those heterozygote subjects who carry only one allele 10 had a significantly decreased risk of HCC (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.53-0.86, p=0.0009), with the risk decreased even further in those without allele 10 (adjusted OR=0.38, 95% CI=0.21-0.69, p=0.0005). Furthermore, genotype-phenotype correlation studies using four hepatoma cell lines support a significant association between STR genotypes and the expression of KCNQ1OT1. Cell lines without allele 10 conferred a 20.9-33.3-fold higher expression of KCNQ1OT1. Meanwhile, KCNQ1OT1 expression was reversely correlated with the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (CDKN1C), a tumor suppressor gene located within the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 imprinted region, in three hepatoma cell lines. Finally, in silico prediction suggested that different alleles could alter the local structure of KCNQ1OT1. Taken together, our findings suggest that the STR polymorphism within KCNQ1OT1 contributes to hepatocarcinogenesis, possibly by affecting KCNQ1OT1 and CDKN1C expression through a structure-dependent mechanism. The replication of our studies and further functional studies are needed to validate our hypothesis and understand the roles of KCNQ1OT1 polymorphisms in predisposition for HCC.

Sidhu A, Debelenko L, Misra VK
Infantile adrenocortical tumor with an activating GNAS1 mutation.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(1):E115-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pediatric adrenocortical tumors (ACTs) are rare and are frequently associated with tumor predisposition syndromes. Somatic GNAS1 mutations are associated with adrenocortical hyperplasia, but have not typically been reported in ACTs.
OBJECTIVE: We report on genetic and histopathological findings in a 3-month-old infant presenting with a unilateral cortisol-producing ACT with malignant features.
METHODS: We performed a detailed clinical evaluation of the patient along with molecular genetic testing of genes associated with ACTs in both tumor tissue and peripheral lymphocytes. We also performed a histopathological analysis of the tumor tissue.
RESULTS: The patient was found to have a p.R201C-activating mutation in exon 8 of the GNAS1 gene in adrenocortical tumor tissue but not peripheral lymphocytes. This mutation is the characteristic genetic change in McCune-Albright syndrome. In contrast to previously reported GNAS1-positive tumors characterized by bimodal diffuse and nodular adrenocortical hypertrophy, our patient had a single adrenocortical mass that showed features of malignancy, including areas of necrosis, microcystic degeneration, and venous and capsular microinvasion-changes that have been seen previously in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. However, our patient did not have clinical features of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Further analysis revealed abnormal allele-specific hypomethylation of the KCNQ1OT1 gene in the tumor sample but not peripheral lymphocytes.
CONCLUSION: This is a novel case of an activating GNAS1 mutation associated with an epigenetic alteration that may be related to adrenocortical tumorigenesis. Our findings may have implications in the molecular pathogenesis of pediatric ACTs.

Kitagawa M, Kotake Y, Ohhata T
Long non-coding RNAs involved in cancer development and cell fate determination.
Curr Drug Targets. 2012; 13(13):1616-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
The possible physiological significance of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has only recently been recognized. Technical innovations such as the super high-resolution tiling array and deep sequencing technology have indicated their importance. It has been proposed that lncRNAs such as HOTAIR are involved in the recruitment of chromatin modifiers to the target genes. The lncRNA ANRIL has been reported to be associated with a Polycomb complex, recruiting it to the target gene INK4 locus where it suppresses transcription via histone modification. Other lncRNAs such as Kcnq1ot1, AIR and Xist have also been found to recruit chromatin modifiers to their target loci. In this review, we discuss the function of lncRNAs such as HOTAIR, ANRIL, Kcnq1ot1, and Xist which recruit chromatin modifiers to target genes and discuss their involvement in cancer development and aggressiveness, and other cell fate determination.

Wijnen M, Alders M, Zwaan CM, et al.
KCNQ1OT1 hypomethylation: a novel disguised genetic predisposition in sporadic pediatric adrenocortical tumors?
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012; 59(3):565-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric adrenal tumors, other than neuroblastoma, are rare and can be associated with a genetic predisposition. In this report we describe two patients with an isolated and apparently sporadic adrenocortical tumor; one girl with a carcinoma, the other girl with an adenoma. In both patients genetic screening revealed hypomethylation of the KCNQ1OT1 gene, well-known for its association with the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. This represents a likely novel genetic predisposition in patients with adrenocortical tumors without clear phenotypic features of the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

Rodriguez BA, Weng YI, Liu TM, et al.
Estrogen-mediated epigenetic repression of the imprinted gene cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C in breast cancer cells.
Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32(6):812-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
While tumor suppressor genes frequently undergo epigenetic silencing in cancer, how the instructions directing this transcriptional repression are transmitted in cancer cells remain largely unclear. Expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (CDKN1C), an imprinted gene on chromosomal band 11 p15.5, is reduced or lost in the majority of breast cancers. Here, we report that CDKN1C is suppressed by estrogen through epigenetic mechanisms involving the chromatin-interacting noncoding RNA KCNQ1OT1 and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF). Activation of estrogen signaling reduced CDKN1C expression 3-fold (P < 0.001) and established repressive histone modifications at the 5' regulatory region of the locus. These events were concomitant with induction of KCNQ1OT1 expression as well as increased recruitment of CTCF to both the distal KCNQ1OT1 promoter-associated imprinting control region (ICR) and the CDKN1C locus. Transient depletion of CTCF by small interfering RNA increased CDKN1C expression and significantly reduced the estrogen-mediated repression of CDKN1C. Further studies in breast cancer cell lines indicated that the epigenetic silencing of CDKN1C occurs in part as the result of genetic loss of the inactive methylated 11p15.5 ICR allele (R(2) = 0.612, P < 0.001). We also found a novel cis-encoded antisense transcript, CDKN1C-AS, which is induced by estrogen signaling following pharmacologic inhibition of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase activity. Forced expression of CDKN1C-AS was capable of repressing endogenous CDKN1C in vivo. Our findings suggest that in addition to promoter hypermethylation, epigenetic repression of tumor suppressor genes by CTCF and noncoding RNA transcripts could be more common and important than previously understood.

Perlman EJ, Grundy PE, Anderson JR, et al.
WT1 mutation and 11P15 loss of heterozygosity predict relapse in very low-risk wilms tumors treated with surgery alone: a children's oncology group study.
J Clin Oncol. 2011; 29(6):698-703 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Children's Oncology Group defines very low-risk Wilms tumors (VLRWT) as stage I favorable histology Wilms tumors weighing less than 550 g in children younger than 24 months of age. VLRWTs may be treated with nephrectomy alone. However, 10% to 15% of VLRWTs relapse without chemotherapy. Previous studies suggest that VLRWTs with low WT1 expression and/or 11p15 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) may have increased risk of relapse. The current study validates these findings within prospectively identified children with VLRWT who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-six VLRWTs (10 relapses) were analyzed for mutation of WT1, CTNNB1, and WTX; for 11p15 LOH using microsatellite analysis; and for H19DMR and KvDMR1 methylation.
RESULTS: 11p15 LOH was identified in 19 (41%) of 46 evaluable VLRWTs and was significantly associated with relapse (P < .001); 16 of 19 were isodisomic for 11p15. WT1 mutation was identified in nine (20%) of 45 evaluable VLRWTs and was significantly associated with relapse (P = .004); all nine cases also had 11p15 LOH. All evaluable tumors showing LOH by microsatellite analysis also showed LOH by methylation analysis. Retention of the normal imprinting pattern was identified in 24 of 42 evaluable tumors, and none relapsed. Loss of imprinting at 11p15 was identified in one of 42 tumors.
CONCLUSION: WT1 mutation and 11p15 LOH are associated with relapse in patients with VLRWTs who do not receive chemotherapy. These may provide meaningful biomarkers to stratify patients for reduced chemotherapy in the future. VLRWTs show a different incidence of WT1 mutation and 11p15 imprinting patterns than has been reported in Wilms tumors of all ages.

Clericuzio CL, Martin RA
Diagnostic criteria and tumor screening for individuals with isolated hemihyperplasia.
Genet Med. 2009; 11(3):220-2 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Isolated hemihyperplasia, formerly termed isolated hemihypertrophy, is a congenital overgrowth disorder associated with an increased risk for embryonal tumors, mainly Wilms tumor and hepatoblastoma. This practice guideline will set forth the diagnostic criteria and tumor screening recommendations for children with isolated hemihyperplasia, based on the best information available. There is clinical overlap between isolated hemihyperplasia with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. The majority of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome patients have a molecular abnormality involving the imprinted cluster of genes at 11p15.5. In contrast, the preponderance of isolated hemihyperplasia patients studied have no identified etiology. Tumors have developed in isolated hemihyperplasia patients with and without molecular abnormalities. For this reason, molecular diagnostics are not helpful in identifying the subset of isolated hemihyperplasia patients with tumor risk and all isolated hemihyperplasia patients should undergo tumor screening.

Alsultan A, Lovell MA, Hayes KL, et al.
Simultaneous occurrence of right adrenocortical tumor and left adrenal neuroblastoma in an infant with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008; 51(5):695-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) have increased risk for development of embryonal tumors. We present the case of an infant with BWS who has hypomethylation of LIT1 gene in the 11p15.5 chromosomal region and at 6 months of age presented with simultaneous occurrence of neuroblastoma arising from the left adrenal gland and a right adrenocortical tumor. She underwent surgical resection of both tumors and remains tumor free 18 months after surgery.

Kou YC, Shao L, Peng HH, et al.
A recurrent intragenic genomic duplication, other novel mutations in NLRP7 and imprinting defects in recurrent biparental hydatidiform moles.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2008; 14(1):33-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
A complete hydatidiform mole (CHM) is an abnormal pregnancy with hyperproliferative vesicular trophoblast and no fetal development. Most CHM are sporadic and androgenetic, but recurrent HM have biparental inheritance (BiHM) with disrupted DNA methylation at differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted loci. Some women with recurrent BiHM have mutations in the NLRP7 gene on chromosome 19q13.42. Using bisulfite genomic sequencing at eight imprinted DMRs on DNA from two BiHMs, we found a pattern of failure to acquire or maintain DNA methylation at DMRs (PEG3, SNRPN, KCNQ1OT1, GNAS exon 1A) that normally acquire CpG methylation during oogenesis, but not at H19, which acquires CpG methylation during spermatogenesis. Secondary imprints at the GNAS locus showed variable abnormal patterns with both gain and loss of CpG methylation. We found novel missense and splice-site mutations in NLRP7 in women with non-familial recurrent BiHM. We identified and characterized a homozygous intragenic tandem duplication including exons 2 through 5 of NLRP7 that results in a predicted truncated protein in affected women of three unrelated Egyptian kindreds, suggesting a founder effect. Our findings firmly establish that NLRP7 mutations are a major cause of BiHM and confirm presence of a complex pattern of imprinting abnormalities in BiHM tissues.

Kim KP, Thurston A, Mummery C, et al.
Gene-specific vulnerability to imprinting variability in human embryonic stem cell lines.
Genome Res. 2007; 17(12):1731-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Disregulation of imprinted genes can be associated with tumorigenesis and altered cell differentiation capacity and so could provide adverse outcomes for stem cell applications. Although the maintenance of mouse and primate embryonic stem cells in a pluripotent state has been reported to disrupt the monoallelic expression of several imprinted genes, available data have suggested relatively higher imprint stability in the human equivalents. Identification of 202 heterozygous loci allowed us to examine the allelic expression of 22 imprinted genes in 22 human embryonic stem cell lines. Half of the genes examined (IPW, H19, MEG3, MEST isoforms 1 and 2, PEG10, MESTIT1, NESP55, ATP10A, PHLDA2, IGF2) showed variable allelic expression between lines, indicating vulnerability to disrupted imprinting. However, seven genes showed consistent monoallelic expression (NDN, MAGEL2, SNRPN, PEG3, KCNQ1, KCNQ1OT1, CDKN1C). Furthermore, four genes known to be monoallelic or to exhibit polymorphic imprinting in later-developing human tissues (TP73, IGF2R, WT1, SLC22A18) were always biallelic in hESCs. MEST isoform 1, PEG10, and NESP55 showed an association between the variability observed in interline allelic expression status and the DNA methylation of previously identified regulatory regions. Our results demonstrate gene-specific differences in the stability of imprinted loci in human embryonic stem cells and identify disrupted DNA methylation as one potential mechanism. We conclude the prudence of including comprehensive imprinting analysis in the continued characterization of human embryonic stem cell lines.

Bjornsson HT, Brown LJ, Fallin MD, et al.
Epigenetic specificity of loss of imprinting of the IGF2 gene in Wilms tumors.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007; 99(16):1270-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Loss of imprinting (LOI) of the IGF2 gene (which encodes insulin-like growth factor II) is the most common genetic or epigenetic alteration in Wilms tumor; LOI involves aberrant activation of the normally repressed maternally inherited allele. We found previously that LOI of IGF2 occurs in approximately half of all Wilms tumors (i.e., those arising from lineage-committed nephrogenic progenitor cells). We investigated whether LOI of IGF2 is associated with relaxation of imprinting at loci other than IGF2 or with widespread alterations in DNA methylation. We stratified 59 Wilms tumor samples by IGF2 LOI status by use of hot-stop reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and/or methylation analysis of the differentially methylated region of the H19 gene and identified 31 samples with and 28 without LOI. We used quantitative allele-specific expression analysis to determine whether six other imprinted genes (i.e., H19, KCNQ1, LIT1, TSSC5, GRB10, and MEG3) had subtle LOI. No statistically significant difference in allele-specific expression between Wilms tumor with or without LOI was found for LIT1, TSSC5, GRB10, and MEG3. For the KCNQ1 gene there was a slight difference between the groups with (37.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 31.8% to 42.2%) and without (27.7%, 95% CI = 21.8% to 33.5%) LOI (P = .02 for F test of group differences in a mixed-effects model). For H19, we also found a slight difference between the groups with (7.5%, 95% CI = 2.4% to 12.7%) and without (2.2%, 95% CI = -3.2% to 7.6%) LOI of IGF2 (P = .15 for F test). In 27 tumor samples, we also used a microarray technique to analyze methylation of 378 genes, 38 of which were suspected or confirmed imprinted genes. We found that statistically significant alterations in only the differentially methylated region of the H19 gene were associated with LOI of IGF2. Thus, epigenetic alterations in Wilms tumors are not widespread, supporting the gene and lineage specificity of LOI of IGF2.

Nakano S, Murakami K, Meguro M, et al.
Expression profile of LIT1/KCNQ1OT1 and epigenetic status at the KvDMR1 in colorectal cancers.
Cancer Sci. 2006; 97(11):1147-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human chromosome region 11p15.5 contains a number of maternally and paternally imprinted genes, and the LIT1/KCNQ1OT1 locus acts as an imprinting center in the proximal domain of 11p15.5. Loss of imprinting (LOI) of LIT1 and its correlation with methylation status at a differentially methylated region, the KvDMR1, were investigated in 69 colorectal cancer tissue specimens. LIT1 expression profiles were also examined by RNA-fluorescence in situ hybridization in 13 colorectal cancer cell lines. In 69 colorectal cancer tissue specimens, LOI of LIT1 was observed in nine of the 17 (53%) informative cases. Moreover, LOI of LIT1 was only observed in tumor samples. In the cell lines, methylation status at the KvDMR1 correlated well with LIT1 expression profiles. Loss of expression of LIT1 also correlated with enrichment of H3 lysine 9 (H3-K9) dimethylation and reduction of H3 lysine 4 (H3-K4) dimethylation. Thus, LIT1 expression appears to be controlled by epigenetic modifications at the KvDMR1, although CDKN1C expression, which is considered to be controlled by LIT1, was not associated with epigenetic status at the KvDMR1 in some colorectal cancer cell lines. Therefore, these findings suggest that LOI of LIT1 via epigenetic disruption plays an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis, but it is not necessarily associated with CDKN1C expression.

Satoh Y, Nakadate H, Nakagawachi T, et al.
Genetic and epigenetic alterations on the short arm of chromosome 11 are involved in a majority of sporadic Wilms' tumours.
Br J Cancer. 2006; 95(4):541-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Wilms' tumour is one of the most common solid tumours of childhood. 11p13 (WT1 locus) and 11p15.5 (WT2 locus) are known to have genetic or epigenetic aberrations in these tumours. In Wilms' tumours, mutation of the Wilms tumour 1 (WT1) gene at the WT1 locus has been reported, and the WT2 locus, comprising the two independent imprinted domains IGF2/H19 and KIP2/LIT1, can undergo maternal deletion or alterations associated with imprinting. Although these alterations have been identified in many studies, it is still not clear how frequently combined genetic and epigenetic alterations of these loci are involved in Wilms' tumours or how these alterations occur. To answer both questions, we performed genetic and epigenetic analyses of these loci, together with an additional gene, CTNNB1, in 35 sporadic Wilms' tumours. Loss of heterozygosity of 11p15.5 and loss of imprinting of IGF2 were the most frequent genetic (29%) and epigenetic (40%) alterations in Wilms' tumours, respectively. In total, 83% of the tumours had at least one alteration at 11p15.5 and/or 11p13. One-third of the tumours had alterations at multiple loci. Our results suggest that chromosome 11p is not only genetically but also epigenetically critical for the majority of Wilms' tumours.

Feinberg AP
A genetic approach to cancer epigenetics.
Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2005; 70:335-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
In over 20 years since the discovery of altered methylation in cancer, many epigenetic alterations have been found in human cancer, including global and specific gene hypomethylation, hypermethylation, altered chromatin marks, and loss of genomic imprinting. Cancer epigenetics has been limited by questions of cause and effect, since epigenetic changes can arise secondary to the cancer process and its associated widespread changes in gene expression. Furthermore, mutations in the DNA methylation machinery have not been observed in tumors, whereas they have been for chromatin modification. To address the issue of human cancer etiology, we have taken a genetic approach to cancer epigenetics. One line of investigation has been on the disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS). We have found that loss of imprinting (LOI) of the autocrine growth factor gene IGF2 and of the untranslated antisense RNA LIT1, within the K(V)LQT1 gene, account for most cases of BWS, and that cancer risk is specifically associated with LOI of IGF2. Wilms' tumors, both in BWS and in the general population, involve LOI leading to an expansion of nephrogenic precursor cells. We have also developed an animal model for the role of LOI of IGF2 in cancer, showing that it cooperates with Apc mutations to increase cancer frequency, consistent with human data suggesting a severalfold increased cancer risk for this common epigenetic variant in the adult population. These data suggest that a major component of cancer risk involves epigenetic changes in normal cells that increase the probability of cancer after genetic mutation. They suggest a model of cancer prevention that involves the epigenetic analysis of normal cells for risk stratification and cancer prevention strategies.

Gallagher E, Mc Goldrick A, Chung WY, et al.
Gain of imprinting of SLC22A18 sense and antisense transcripts in human breast cancer.
Genomics. 2006; 88(1):12-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The 11p15.5 region harbors three imprinted sense/antisense transcript pairs, SLC22A18/SLC22A18AS, IGF2/IGF2AS (PEG8), and KCNQ1/KCNQ1OT1 (LIT1). SLC22A18 (solute carrier family 22 (organic cation transporter) member 18) and its antisense transcript SLC22A18AS are paternally suppressed in fetal samples. In adult tissue, SLC22A18 displays polymorphic imprinting, but the imprinting status of SLC22A18AS remains elusive. SLC22AI8 DNA-PCR-RFLP analysis using NlaIII restriction digestion identified SLC22A18 heterozygotes within this breast tissue cohort (n = 89). Commercial sequencing identified informative SLC22A18AS samples. Random hexamer-primed cDNA synthesis, SLC22A18/SLC22A18AS-specific PCR, and imprinting evaluation by commercial sequencing demonstrated that SLC22A18AS displays a nonimprinted profile in reduction mastectomies (n = 6). However, SLC22A18 showed a gain of imprinting (GOI) in 1/4 of these normal cases. In the malignant cohort, GOI was also demonstrated in 18% for SLC22A18 and 14% for SLC22A18AS, occurring concomitantly in one case. This study reports the imprinting status of SLC22A18AS in adult tissue, and shows that GOI affects both the sense, and antisense transcripts at this locus in human breast tissue.

Higashimoto K, Soejima H, Saito T, et al.
Imprinting disruption of the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domain: the molecular mechanisms causing Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and cancer.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2006; 113(1-4):306-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human chromosomal region 11p15.5, which is homologous to mouse chromosome region 7F5, is a well-known imprinted region. The CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 imprinted domain, which is one of two imprinted domains at 11p15.5, includes nine imprinted genes regulated by an imprinting center (IC). The CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 IC is a differentially methylated region of KCNQ1OT1(KCNQ1OT-DMR) with DNA methylation on the maternal allele and no methylation on the paternal allele. CDKN1C (alias p57KIP2), an imprinted gene with maternal expression, encoding a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, is a critical gene within the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domain. In Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), approximately 50% of patients show loss of DNA methylation accompanied by loss of histone H3 Lys9 dimethylation on maternal KCNQ1OT-DMR, namely an imprinting disruption, leading to diminished expression of CDKN1C. In cancer, at least three molecular mechanisms--imprinting disruption, aberrant DNA methylations at the CDKN1C promoter, and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the maternal allele--are seen and all three result in diminished expression of CDKN1C. Imprinting disruption of the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domain is involved in the development of both BWS and cancer and it changes the maternal epigenotype to the paternal type, leading to diminished CDKN1C expression. In this review, we describe recent advances in epigenetic control of the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 imprinted domain in both humans and mice.

Kato H, Matsuda T, Hirakawa T, et al.
Differential diagnosis between complete and partial mole by TSSC3 antibody completely correlates to DNA diagnosis.
Diagn Mol Pathol. 2005; 14(3):164-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Complete hydatidiform moles (CHMs) are a type of androgenetic fertilization without an ovum. Cases of CHM exhibit a generalized swelling of the villi and are known to be highly associated with persistent disease or carcinoma. In contrast, partial hydatidiform moles (PHMs) also show characteristic hydropic changes among the villi, but the incidence of secondary disease is relatively low. Because PHMs are fertilized by one ovum and two sperm and CHMs are fertilized by one or two sperm alone, we considered whether or not maternally imprinted genes might be useful for achieving a differential diagnosis. The validity of the imprinted genes in CHMs was assessed by implementation of a microarray technique. Among the genes examined, TSSC3, SLC22A1L, KCNQ1, and Decorin were shown to be down-regulated, and TSSC3 was the most markedly suppressed of these genes. In this study, 20 cases of CHM, the diagnosis of which was confirmed by DNA polymorphism, were investigated. In all of these cases, the expression of TSSC3 was completely absent, as determined by Western blot analysis. Conversely, 12 cases of PHM, also diagnosed by DNA polymorphism, were examined here; in all of these 12 cases, TSSC3 was found to be expressed normally. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis also produced the same results. The complete silencing of TSSC3 in cases of CHM will provide a novel, convenient strategy for the diagnosis of molar lesions in the placenta.

Sato N, Matsubayashi H, Abe T, et al.
Epigenetic down-regulation of CDKN1C/p57KIP2 in pancreatic ductal neoplasms identified by gene expression profiling.
Clin Cancer Res. 2005; 11(13):4681-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) of the pancreas is an increasingly identified precursor to infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma. Although our knowledge of the clinical and pathologic features of IPMNs is increasing, the molecular mechanisms underlying these neoplasms remain poorly understood.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS: To provide further insight into the molecular pathobiology of IPMNs, global expression profiling was done to determine genes that are inactivated/down-regulated in IPMNs using oligonucleotide microarrays (Affymetrix).
RESULTS: In total, 300 unique transcripts (217 known genes) were identified as highly underexpressed in 12 IPMNs (<10-fold lower and P < 0.05) compared with five normal pancreatic ductal epithelium samples obtained by laser capture microdissection. The differential expression of a selection of genes was confirmed using reverse-transcription PCR. One of the genes underexpressed at both the transcriptional and protein level in a significant proportion of IPMNs was the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, CDKN1C/p57KIP2. CDKN1C expression was also decreased in many pancreatic cancer cell lines and was restored following treatment with a DNA methylation inhibitor (5-aza-2'-deoxycitidine) or, more potently, with a histone deacetylase inhibitor (trichostatin A). Partial methylation of the CDKN1C promoter CpG island was found in most, but not all, pancreatic cancer cell lines with reduced CDKN1C expression, and was also detectable in IPMNs. Furthermore, a subset of pancreatic cancers showed complete hypomethylation of LIT1, an imprinting control region important for the regulation of CDKN1C expression. Complete hypomethylation in these cancers was the result of deletion of the methylated LIT1 allele at 11p15.5 rather than loss of imprinting.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that CDKN1C is commonly down-regulated in pancreatic ductal neoplasms through a combination of promoter hypermethylation, histone deacetylation, and loss of the maternal allele expressing CDKN1C.

Cooper WN, Luharia A, Evans GA, et al.
Molecular subtypes and phenotypic expression of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2005; 13(9):1025-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) results from mutations or epigenetic events involving imprinted genes at 11p15.5. Most BWS cases are sporadic and uniparental disomy (UPD) or putative imprinting errors predominate in this group. Sporadic cases with putative imprinting defects may be subdivided into (a) those with loss of imprinting (LOI) of IGF2 and H19 hypermethylation and silencing due to a defect in a distal 11p15.5 imprinting control element (IC1) and (b) those with loss of methylation at KvDMR1, LOI of KCNQ1OT1 (LIT1) and variable LOI of IGF2 in whom there is a defect at a more proximal imprinting control element (IC2). We investigated genotype/epigenotype-phenotype correlations in 200 cases with a confirmed molecular genetic diagnosis of BWS (16 with CDKN1C mutations, 116 with imprinting centre 2 defects, 14 with imprinting centre 1 defects and 54 with UPD). Hemihypertrophy was strongly associated with UPD (P<0.0001) and exomphalos was associated with an IC2 defect or CDKN1C mutation but not UPD or IC1 defect (P<0.0001). When comparing birth weight centile, IC1 defect cases were significantly heavier than the patients with CDKN1C mutations or IC2 defect (P=0.018). The risk of neoplasia was significantly higher in UPD and IC1 defect cases than in IC2 defect and CDKN1C mutation cases. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a risk of neoplasia for all patients of 9% at age 5 years, but 24% in the UPD subgroup. The risk of Wilms' tumour in the IC2 defect subgroup appears to be minimal and intensive screening for Wilms' tumour appears not to be indicated. In UPD patients, UPD extending to WT1 was associated with renal neoplasia (P=0.054). These findings demonstrate that BWS represents a spectrum of disorders. Identification of the molecular subtype allows more accurate prognostic predictions and enhances the management and surveillance of BWS children such that screening for Wilms' tumour and hepatoblastoma can be focused on those at highest risk.

Rump P, Zeegers MP, van Essen AJ
Tumor risk in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: A review and meta-analysis.
Am J Med Genet A. 2005; 136(1):95-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth syndrome associated with macroglossia, abdominal wall defects, ear anomalies, and an increased risk for embryonic tumors. Reported tumor risk estimates vary between 4% and 21%. It has been hypothesized that tumor predisposition in BWS is related to the imprinting status of the H19 and LIT1 genes on chromosome 11p15. A loss of imprinting (LOI) of H19 implies a higher tumor risk. However, a systematic analysis of available data is lacking. Therefore, we performed a review and meta-analysis of reported associations between the imprinting status of the LIT1 and H19 genes and the risk for tumor development in BWS. Five publications suitable for meta-analysis were identified by electronic database searches. Sufficient data were available for 402 out of 520 patients. Patients were divided into four groups based on the imprinting status of H19 and LIT1: group I with LOI of LIT1 (45%); group II with LOI of H19 (9%); group III with LOI of LIT1 and LOI of H19 (21%); and group IV with normal imprinting patterns (26%). Differences in tumor risk between groups were studied with random effects meta-analysis. Tumors occurred in 55 patients. The odds of tumor development was significantly lower in group I when compared to group II (OR=0.06; 95% CI: 0.02-0.21) and group III (OR=0.12; 95% CI: 0.04-0.37). Tumor risk did not differ significantly between groups II and III (OR=1.40; 95% CI: 0.56-3.50). Compared to group IV, tumor risk was significantly lower in group I (OR=0.33; 95% CI: 0.12-0.87) and higher in groups II (OR=4.0; 95% CI: 1.5-10.4) and III (OR=2.6; 95% CI: 1.2-5.7). Tumor incidence rate for group IV was 10.6% (95% CI: 3.6-17.7). Calculated absolute risks were 3% for group I, 43% for group II, and 28% for group III, respectively. No Wilms tumor was seen in group I. In total, other tumors were seen with comparable frequencies in groups I-III. The results show a strong association between a LOI of H19 and especially Wilms tumor development in BWS.

Margetts CD, Astuti D, Gentle DC, et al.
Epigenetic analysis of HIC1, CASP8, FLIP, TSP1, DCR1, DCR2, DR4, DR5, KvDMR1, H19 and preferential 11p15.5 maternal-allele loss in von Hippel-Lindau and sporadic phaeochromocytomas.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2005; 12(1):161-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phaeochromocytoma is a neural-crest-derived tumour that may be a feature of several familial cancer syndromes including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and germline succinate dehydrogenase subunit (SDHB and SDHD) mutations. However the somatic genetic and epigenetic events that occur in phaeochromocytoma tumourigenesis are not well defined. Epigenetic events including de novo promoter methylation of tumour-suppressor genes are frequent in many human neoplasms. As neuroblastoma and phaeochromocytoma are both neural-crest-derived tumours, we postulated that some epigenetic events might be implicated in both tumour types and wished to establish how somatic epigenetic alterations compared in VHL-associated and sporadic phaeochromocytomas. We identified frequent aberrant methylation of HIC1 (82%) and CASP8 (31%) in phaeochromocytoma, but both genes were significantly more methylated in VHL phaeochromocytomas than in sporadic cases. Of four tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptors analysed, DR4 was most commonly methylated (41%; compared with DcR2 (26%), DcR1 (23%) and DR5 (10%)). Gene methylation patterns in phaeochromocytoma and neuroblastoma did not differ significantly suggesting overlapping mechanisms of tumourigenesis. We also investigated the role of 11p15.5-imprinted genes in phaeochromocytoma. We found that in 10 sporadic and VHL phaeochromocytomas with 11p15.5 allele loss, the patterns of methylation of 11p15.5-differentially methylated regions were consistent with maternal, rather than, paternal chromosome loss in all cases (P<0.001). This suggests that 11p15.5-imprinted genes may be implicated in the pathogenesis of both familial (germline VHL and SDHD mutations) and sporadic phaeochromocytomas.

Bliek J, Gicquel C, Maas S, et al.
Epigenotyping as a tool for the prediction of tumor risk and tumor type in patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS).
J Pediatr. 2004; 145(6):796-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) have a risk of 7.5% to 10% of developing childhood tumors, 60% of which are Wilms' tumors. Aberrant methylation of two distinct clusters of imprinted genes on chromosome 11p15 is detected in approximately 70% of BWS cases. Our aim was to determine associations between the imprinting status of both imprinting clusters (BWSIC1/2) and the tumor incidence and type.
STUDY DESIGN: Methylation patterns of H19 and KCNQ1OT1 were collected in 114 patients with BWS with a clinical diagnosis. The patients were followed until 5 years of age, and tumor incidence and type were registered.
RESULTS: A lower risk of developing childhood tumors was found among patients with a methylation defect limited to BWSIC2 compared with other patients with BWS. No Wilms' tumors were found in this group, whereas in patients with a methylation defect limited to BWSIC1 Wilms' tumor was the most common tumor.
CONCLUSIONS: In addition to clinical factors indicative for a high tumor risk (hemihypertrophy, nephromegaly), methylation patterns discriminate between patients with BWS with a high and low tumor risk. It also is possible to predict whether they are at risk of developing a Wilms' tumor. Epigenotyping of patients is important to select the type of screening protocol to be proposed to these patients.

Hoffmann MJ, Florl AR, Seifert HH, Schulz WA
Multiple mechanisms downregulate CDKN1C in human bladder cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2005; 114(3):406-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression of the imprinted CDKN1C gene at chromosome 11p15.5 encoding the cell cycle inhibitor p57(KIP2) is disturbed in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and in several human cancers by different mechanisms. Many advanced urothelial cancers (TCC) display downregulation of CDKN1C expression. The responsible mechanisms were investigated in TCC cell lines, with cultured normal urothelial cells (UEC) as controls. CDKN1C mRNA expression was diminished in 12/15 TCC lines and p57(KIP2) protein was decreased accordingly. Because CDKN1C is expressed from the maternal allele only, LOH at 11p15.5 represents one mechanism of downregulation. In 3 cell lines, several polymorphic markers flanking CDKN1C were homozygous compatible with this mechanism. Hypermethylation of the CDKN1C promoter, a reported cause of downregulation in other cancers, was detected by bisulfite sequencing in several cell lines and appeared associated with downregulation in at least one cell line. The methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine induced CDKN1C expression in this cell line and others. A third reported mechanism involves a switch of both alleles toward a paternal imprinting pattern, indicated by hypomethylation of a differentially methylated region (DMR) in the imprinting center (IC2). This hypomethylation was detected in most TCC lines, and was associated with re-expression of the non-coding LIT1 RNA and with downregulation of CDKN1C in several. Thus, CDKN1C downregulation in TCC seems to occur by several different mechanisms. This finding and the ability of p57(KIP2) to induce senescence in urothelial cells make CDKN1C a good candidate for a tumor suppressor at 11p in TCC.

Soejima H, Nakagawachi T, Zhao W, et al.
Silencing of imprinted CDKN1C gene expression is associated with loss of CpG and histone H3 lysine 9 methylation at DMR-LIT1 in esophageal cancer.
Oncogene. 2004; 23(25):4380-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The putative tumor suppressor CDKN1C is an imprinted gene at 11p15.5, a well-known imprinted region often deleted in tumors. The absence of somatic mutations and the frequent diminished expression in tumors would suggest that CDKN1C expression is regulated epigenetically. It has been, however, controversial whether the diminution is caused by imprinting disruption of the CDKN1C/LIT1 domain or by promoter hypermethylation of CDKN1C itself. To clarify this, we investigated the CpG methylation index of the CDKN1C promoter and the differentially methylated region of the LIT1 CpG island (differentially methylated region (DMR)-LIT1), an imprinting control region of the domain, and CDKN1C expression in esophageal cancer cell lines. CDKN1C expression was diminished in 10 of 17 lines and statistically correlated with the loss of methylation at DMR-LIT1 in all but three. However, there was no statistical correlation between CDKN1C promoter MI and CDKN1C expression. Furthermore, loss of CpG methylation was associated with loss of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation at DMR-LIT1. Histone modifications at CDKN1C promoter were not correlated with CDKN1C expression. The data suggested that the diminished CDKN1C expression is associated with the loss of methylation of CpG and H3K9 at DMR-LIT1, not by its own promoter CpG methylation, and is involved in esophageal cancer, implying that DMR-LIT1 epigenetically regulates CDKN1C expression not through histone modifications at CDKN1C promoter, but through that of DMR-LIT1.

Fukuzawa R, Breslow NE, Morison IM, et al.
Epigenetic differences between Wilms' tumours in white and east-Asian children.
Lancet. 2004; 363(9407):446-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Variations in the international incidence of Wilms' tumour might be due to genetic factors. The maternal insulin-like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) is imprinted in normal tissues, whereas in some Wilms' tumours and other tumour types the imprint is lost, leading to biallelic transcription of IGF2. We investigated whether the difference in incidence of Wilms' tumour between children of east-Asian descent and white children is due to variations in proportion of tumours with loss of IGF2 imprinting (IGF2 LOI).
METHODS: We assessed IGF2 LOI by use of an ApaI polymorphism in IGF2 exon 9 or quantitative PCR measuring DNA methylation of the H19 and KvDMR1 alleles. The frequencies of perilobar nephrogenic rests associated with Wilms' tumour were assessed histologically in Japanese children and children of white and east-Asian descent.
FINDINGS: IGF2 LOI was present in Wilms' tumours from predominantly white children from New Zealand (13 of 41 tumours) but absent in tumours from Japanese children (0 of 21 tumours; difference in proportions 0.32, 95% CI 0.07-0.52). Frequency of perilobar nephrogenic rests accompanying tumours from white American children (1192 of 5002, 24%) was significantly higher than in Japanese (one of 56, 1%, difference in proportions 0.22, 95% CI 0.14-0.25) and east-Asian American children (seven of 92, 8%, 0.16, 0.09-0.21).
INTERPRETATION: Wilms' tumours in the east-Asian population rarely arise from the IGF2 LOI mechanism frequently noted in white patients. Our findings that IGF2 LOI and perilobar nephrogenic rests associated with this mechanism arise at low frequency in Japanese and east-Asian American children lend support to this conclusion. Variation in frequency of this epigenetic mechanism provides one explanation for the difference in incidence of Wilms' tumour between populations.

Poirier K, Chalas C, Tissier F, et al.
Loss of parental-specific methylation at the IGF2 locus in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2003; 201(3):473-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Significant production of the growth factor IGF2 has been reported in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Disturbances associated with changes in methylation at this locus or affecting the 11p15.5 imprinting domain as a whole can be postulated in HCCs. In the present study, the methylation status of differentially methylated regions of the imprinted genes TSSC5, LIT1, and IGF2, which span the 11p15 domain, was analysed in 71 liver tissues from virus-associated and non-virus-associated HCCs compared with six normal liver tissues. Altered methylation of TSSC5 and LIT1 was observed in only 6% and 8% of HCCs, respectively, compared with 89% at the IGF2 locus, suggesting that these loci were not concomitantly dysregulated. These observations suggest that loss of parental-specific methylation at the IGF2 locus may be specifically associated with HCC, whether virus-associated or non-virus-associated, and arising in cirrhotic or non-cirrhotic livers.

Scelfo RA, Schwienbacher C, Veronese A, et al.
Loss of methylation at chromosome 11p15.5 is common in human adult tumors.
Oncogene. 2002; 21(16):2564-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosome 11p15 deletion is frequent in human tumors, suggesting the presence of at least one tumor suppressor gene within this region. While mutation analyses of local genes revealed only rare mutations, we have previously described a mechanism, gain of imprinting, that leads to loss of expression of genes located on the maternal 11p15 chromosome in human hepatocarcinomas. Loss of expression was often associated with loss of maternal-specific methylation at the KvDMR1 locus. Here, we show that loss of the maternal KvDMR1 methylation is common, ranging from 30 to 50%, to a variety of adult neoplasms, including liver, breast, cervical and gastric carcinomas. We found that other 11p15.5 loci were concomitantly hypomethylated, indicating that loss of KvDMR1 methylation occurred in the context of a common mechanism affecting the methylation of a large 11p15 subchromosomal domain. These epigenetic abnormalities were not detected in any normal somatic tissue. Therefore, it seems possible that, contrary to the repression of promoter activity caused by hypermethylation, loss of gene expression at 11p15.5 may result from the activation, by hypomethylation, of one or more negative regulatory elements.

DeBaun MR, Niemitz EL, McNeil DE, et al.
Epigenetic alterations of H19 and LIT1 distinguish patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome with cancer and birth defects.
Am J Hum Genet. 2002; 70(3):604-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a congenital cancer-predisposition syndrome associated with embryonal cancers, macroglossia, macrosomia, ear pits or ear creases, and midline abdominal-wall defects. The most common constitutional abnormalities in BWS are epigenetic, involving abnormal methylation of either H19 or LIT1, which encode untranslated RNAs on 11p15. We hypothesized that different epigenetic alterations would be associated with specific phenotypes in BWS. To test this hypothesis, we performed a case-cohort study, using the BWS Registry. The cohort consisted of 92 patients with BWS and molecular analysis of both H19 and LIT1, and these patients showed the same frequency of clinical phenotypes as those patients in the Registry from whom biological samples were not available. The frequency of altered DNA methylation of H19 in patients with cancer was significantly higher, 56% (9/16), than the frequency in patients without cancer, 17% (13/76; P=.002), and cancer was not associated with LIT1 alterations. Furthermore, the frequency of altered DNA methylation of LIT1 in patients with midline abdominal-wall defects and macrosomia was significantly higher, 65% (41/63) and 60% (46/77), respectively, than in patients without such defects, 34% (10/29) and 18% (2/11), respectively (P=.012 and P=.02, respectively). Additionally, paternal uniparental disomy (UPD) of 11p15 was associated with hemihypertrophy (P=.003), cancer (P=.03), and hypoglycemia (P=.05). These results define an epigenotype-phenotype relationship in BWS, in which aberrant methylation of H19 and LIT1 and UPD are strongly associated with cancer risk and specific birth defects.

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